The Psalms Psalm Transcriptions Methodology The Instruments of the Bible Reference Section About

Playing the Name of God

One of the original premises was that David and the Levite musicians were able to play the name of God. So what was the Name David was referring to? Taking our lead Psalm 68 and Psalm 7, we can clearly see that he was referring to both the Name, YAH and YAHVEH.


Psalm 68:5 (68:4 KJV)
"Sing to God, play His Name, raise Him up who rides upon the desert plains by YAH, His Name, and be joyful before him."
Psalm 7:18 (7:17 KJV)
"I will thank YAHVEH according to His righteousness and I will play the Name of YAHVEH, Most High."

We know from the thousands of occurrences within the Hebrew texts, the Name of God was primarily represented by the Tetragrammaton YHVH = YAHVEH and YH = YAH. In the following example found in Isaiah, we can also see that YAH and YAHVEH were used interchangeably.

Isaiah 12:2
"Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and I will not be afraid; for YAH is YAHVEH and He is my strength and my melody; and He is become my salvation." - (also see parallel accounts in Exodus 15:2; Psalm 118:14)

Relating this back to the DAVIDIC CIPHER we find that the Name YAH equates to the tones A and C, an A minor triad - tones that can be played both melodically (ex. 1) or harmonically (ex. 2). The harmonic use of the Name of YAH was most likely utilized by the melodic cymbals of the Levites and was used to start the song and with in some instances, with the opening HAL'LU YAH. This usage not only accentuated and praised the Name of YAH, but also gave the starting pitches to the singers and set the tonality of the song. The melodic use of the tones A and C can theoretically be found in any instance where these tones occur in the melodies of the various Psalms.

The use of YAHVEH, associated with the tones A - C - B - C (ex. 3), is however restricted for use within the melodic lines sung by the singers and played by the harps. As shown below in an example from Psalm 96:7-8, this was a common motif and theme within many of the Psalm manuscripts. The usage of this type of compositional device, (i.e., soggetto cavato), with a musical system has previously been thought to be a relatively recent technique.1 However, the findings presented herein place the initial usage to the time of David, some three-thousand years ago...

Example of YAH and YAHVEH

For expanded documentation see Reference Section: Miscellaneous relationships with the Sacred Name, YAH.

In order to apply the priciples of the DAVIDIC CIPHER to the Psalm manuscripts, there are some basic rules governing the handling of the texts, the deciphering of the cantillation symbols and their application into a contemporary sheet music format - the Music Theory of the Psalms.

Music Theory of the Psalms

1 The initial usage of sogetto cavato has previously been attributed to Josquin des Prez, an Italian music theorist and composer of the 15th Century. (Lockwood, Lewis. "Soggetto cavato," The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Vol. 20. Ed. Stanley Sadie. London: Macmillan, 2001)